There were a couple of position drills after players warmed up in today's Virginia Tech practice.
Then the controlled chaos began.
Like a street fight, players circled around as two handpicked Hokies, one offensive and one defensive stood facing each other in a stance. The players stood on opposite sides of a rectangular pad and when a whistle was blown, engaged hands to shoulder pads, trying to push the other one back.
The Hokies running backs did a similar drill last year, but it's got a little different twist this spring. Coach Frank Beamer calls the drill, 'T Time.'
"It's just something to get practice going, to see toughness and emphasize toughness," Beamer said. "We've got a couple of other things planned this spring for the first thing we do in practice."
Five sets of players squared off today, each picked earlier in the day by assistant coaches. Redshirt freshman Trey Edmunds was one of those going today and got the best of redshirt freshman linebacker Deon Clarke. Edmunds participated in the drill last year with the running backs, but this year's a little different without bruising running back Martin Scales, who's since graduated.
"I think it's a wonderful drill and it just works fundamentals and gets your hands in position and keeps your feet dropped," Edmunds said.
"I'm telling you, Scales was a horse, so just me having an opportunity to go against him last year prepared me for this year."
It's all part of Virginia Tech building toughness. It's been one of Beamer's focuses this spring.
"I think we have tough kids, we just didn't always play tough, mentally and physically for whatever reason," Beamer said of last season. "I just think it's always been a part of the program here. The more you emphasize it, the more you get what you want. I think the kids are gonna be like that, too."
Beamer said there will be more of the 'T Drill.' There will also be the well-known and tough Oklahoma drill, which will give the Hokies plenty of opportunities to prove their toughness.